Omnia mea mecum porto / All that’s mine I carry with me / Sve svoje nosim sa sobom

Sparrowhawk_eating_on_guardThis is supposed to be an uplifting / ‘keep your chin up’ post. I don’t want it to be understood as a ‘soli mi pamet’ post.

If any of you have ever seen the film Leap Year (rom com) with Amy Adams and Mathew Goode, you might remember that question about the fire alarm and the most precious thing you would take with you. Even if you haven’t seen it, maybe you have asked yourself this question?

We are born into this world with nothing but ourselves – a tabula rasa. We die and leave this world with nothing, but lots of knowledge and memories and feelings (hopefully not many regrets) if we’re lucky enough not to get dementia or Alzheimer’s. We don’t get to choose where and what we are born into. But we have some choice in what we become and what we acquire.

A lot of people lost everything. How do we define everything? What do people mean when they say: “…lost everything…”? Lost all that was acquired in (part of) your lifetime, or over however many generations? Everything, including yourself?

You don’t lose the survival instinct. You don’t stop fighting for yourself and your loved ones. You may have lost your every possession, but you can still read and write. You still have your knowledge, experiences, imagination, sense of humour, ideas and yourself. Yes, YOURSELF. If you think about organ trade, ask yourself how much you would pay to replace any one of your organs that stops functioning for any reason. You may function perfectly or not, but you still fight. You don’t give up. You keep going.

And even if you get tired, with a bit of luck, someone will be there to give you a hand and help you along. It’s up to you to take that help. And it’s ok to stop and recover your spirits. In any way you can.

Evolution (Ooops, I said the “E” word!)

You know the phrase: “Uzdaj se u se i u svoje kljuse” (Just me and my [faithful] old nag)?

I’m a biologist. So I look at things in a ‘biological’ way. Evolve. Change. Adapt. You survived and got this far. Trust yourself. Trust your instincts. Trust your gut. Freeze any other shit out and listen to yourself. Earth is alive and the ground shifts under out feet, literally and figuratively. Land on your feet as often as you can.

Having studied biology, I often like to observe anything and everything. It gives me great comfort to watch a little snail glides across the table outside with its little eyes looking at everything around it. And to watch the birds fight with each other for food, territory and partners. And I watch how the creatures eat. In a park. In a garden. Sparrowhawk having raw ‘English breakfast’ in my garden. Anywhere, really. I like to observe the two-legged ‘wildlife’, too. (Yes, I mean humans!) The principles are pretty much identical. Can you guess where I’m going with this? I’m getting there.

Watching wildlife like that focuses on life in its rawness and I can get an important message out of it. I don’t need a lot to be happy. And I mean truly happy and satisfied. If I lost everything tonight, I would still have me. I would be in an absolute state, but I would still have me. And if I’m to stay ‘here’ for longer, I would have to use what I do have and adjust it to help me survive that loss. I’d have to evolve – quickly. Because I would have no other choice. And if I didn’t evolve, I’d ‘get eaten’. By a sparrowhawk or whatever else ruffles my feathers (pun intended).

A door closes, a window opens. If the old ways don’t work anymore, try coming up with new ones. Spread your wings. Think outside the box, beyond limits, because what more have you got to lose, if you already lost everything. And if you haven’t lost yourself, then you still have something vital.

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